Friday, March 18, 2005

Blog! The Blogging Blogger's Blogged!

One hundred years ago, I imagined the internet as being my own personal publishing house. I would put stories up and Norwegians would go insane over the adventures of Goose and Viking. Hey, *I* thought they were funny. Why shouldn’t everyone else?
“Ya, da Goos und da Viking, dey so fah-nee!”

I believe that my disillusionment with the World Wide Web has never been higher than it is right now. Sure, there are some good sites. Pro Football Talk has a scathing rumor page that I enjoy on a more-than-daily (probably on a more-than-is-healthy-for-me) basis. And there are vast heaps of information that I’m more than happy to tap into when looking for a shortcut or even just an answer to a programming problem. Regardless, based on percentage of content, you would think that the internet was all about pornography and salesmen. Isn’t it?

I’m starting to learn that the internet is whatever you want it to be.

As a research tool, it is nearly invaluable. Anything can be found there. Some things cost but if you want the good stuff, you have to pay (as a second-last-semester research paper taught me ad nauseum).

As a self-healing support-system, the internet provides many links to information, or discussion forums where anyone from an alcoholic to someone who wants to lose weight can find support.

I believe, however, that the internet has become the time-waster that TV is. Sure, TV can be useful. You can watch documentaries, demonstrations, news, whatever. But its main function is entertainment.

This is going to lead to a long, probably rambling, (I love to ramble) monologue about how, while people talk about a life that exists after death is where we will be rewarded and how this life is work-filled in preparation for the test that leads to that paradise, they use the majority of their non-work time entertaining themselves in non-productive leisure. (See? Ramble on…)

Truly, though, as work becomes more automated and people have more free time, do they want to spend that time doing more work or being entertained? TV, books, the internet – all of these things have many possible uses, but by far, the most widespread is entertainment.

How does this fit in with the idea that life is a hard lesson for admission to the afterlife? Are there going to be a whole lot of REJECTED stamps on people’s foreheads as they are jettisoned off to Hell?

Does this obsession with filling leisure-time with idle entertainment have something to do with the deterioration of society as we see it? Is society even deteriorating, or is it just that I’m getting old?

Oh, another side of the internet – pseudo-intellectuals spouting off about the deterioration of society.

Books I’m reading:

Chainfire – The latest Terry Goodkind novel in the Sword of Truth series. Magic and wonder – Richard’s wife goes missing. Richard is the only one who remembers that she exists and nobody believes him… again. Something’s hunting him. Hilarity ensues. This novel makes me wonder – is Goodkind tired of this series? If so, just have it end at the end of Faith of the Fallen, erase the other books from the records and go write another Atlas Shrugged.

The Shadow Rising – Book Four in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Is it wrong for me to re-read this series every time that a new volume comes out? If so, I don’t want to be right. This is the second-best story in the series, with Perrin kicking Trolloc hiney and Rand learning about his ancestry.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight: The first in the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It’s fun and I’m reading the series more out of nostalgia than anything else.